STL For Sale By Owner

money house - st louis for sale by owner listingsIf you’re thinking about buying a house, you have to choose between finding a for-sale-by-owner listing, or going through a St Louis real estate agent. While there are many reasons to choose either option, it can be a difficult choice, especially if you don’t know the difference between the two listings. Knowing the pros and cons of each can be great help in choosing whether you want to hire a real estate agent, or look for a home on your own.

Pros & Cons of For Sale by Owner Listings

A For-Sale-By-Owner listing is a piece of property that has been listed for sale by the owner. Usually this type of listing will be slightly cheaper (but not always), but this is one of the only real benefits. However; you should watch out for the occasional St Louis home that is overpriced by a seller who either doesn’t know the value, or is hoping that you won’t know it. The negatives of a For-Sale-By-Owner listing include that the seller probably has no idea what he or she is doing, might not have filed for the proper paperwork, and won’t know about any taxes, liens or restrictions inherit with the property. For Sale by Owner listing sare best for people who know what they are doing and have purchased property before because there can be a lot of complicated paperwork involved.

Pros & Cons of Real Estate Agents

For most people a St. Louis real estate agent is the best way to go. For example, a real estate agent can help you with the proper paperwork, find out information about the home, can help you find a piece of property within your budget and in the area you want to live in, as well as several other cost effective services. Unfortunately, a real estate agent will be slightly more expensive than a for-sale-by-owner listing, because they charge a percentage on the top. However; considering the time and frustration that you can save by purchasing a house through a real estate agent, you can consider the money well spent.

Real estate agents are the easiest way to go, because you can tell them what you need, where you want it, and how much you want to spend and they will find you the property. If you go through the homeowner, you will have to locate the property on your own, and most importantly, you will have to spend time and money ensuring that nothing is wrong with the home before you purchase.

However; both options are still very good. If you have the time, the money and the know-how to purchase a house from the seller (you have to know the taxes, paperwork, legal fees, legal processes and people who can inspect the house) then you can choose to purchase a ‘for sale by owner’ listing. Otherwise, a real estate agent who knows how to do everything, knows what you should be paying for the home, and can guarantee that the home is in good condition might be your best choice.

St. Louis Real Estate – Buyer’s and Seller’s Agents

Differences between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent in real estate

Buying or selling a home or real estate is not a simple matter. Whenever there is a property deal involving sale and purchase of say a home, you will, most likely, find that some St. Louis real estate agent, listing agent, seller’s agent or buyer’s agent is involved in getting the deal finalized and closed to the satisfaction of the seller and buyer both, while complying with the statutory requirements as well. All these agents have specific roles to play in the whole deal or transaction and they are accordingly compensated by way of their commission for the time and efforts put in and the expertise provided by them to the parties concerned. Let us look at the various aspects, in general, and at the differences between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent in real estate, in particular.

Types of agents involved and differences between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent

The main types of agents involved in St. Louis real estate deals are as under:

  • Listing Agent – Listing Agent is a STL real estate agent who helps homeowners sell their property. He lists client homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and negotiates on behalf of the seller to get him the best possible price and terms. Towards this end, he acts as the seller’s agent and he has a fiduciary duty to the seller.
  • Buyer’s Agent or Property Search Agent – Buyer’s Agent assists the buyer throughout the purchasing process and protects his rights and entitlements, right from sourcing the most suitable property after assessing the client’s needs till the culmination of the deal, including negotiating the best possible price and terms and completing all the legal formalities etc. Buyer’s Agent has a fiduciary duty to the Buyer.

It would be evident from the above that while the Listing Agent or Seller’s Agent has to protect and further the interests of the seller, the Buyer’s Agent has a fiduciary duty to safeguard and further the interests of the Buyer of the property. Both the Agents have to ensure compliance to the statutory or legal requirements as applicable, whether the same are known to and insisted upon by the Buyer and/or Seller or not. Both Seller’s and Buyer’s Agents are also required to arrange for the services of other professionals required to carry the deal through. They may include lawyers, surveyors, architects and other professionals.

It is pertinent to mention here that Buyers’ Agents also often work in the offices of Listing Agents, though the latter act as Sellers’ Agents. Commission for both Seller’s Agent as well as Buyer’s Agent is paid by the Seller, though he may adjust the same while quoting the price.

Short Sale St. Louis

What is a Short Sale?

With many St Louis homeowners finding they owe more to the bank than the fair market value of their home, short sales have become more prevalent in real estate listings of most areas of the United States. A short sale occurs when the homeowner’s lender agrees to accept less than the outstanding balance on the mortgage as payment in full. While short sales are tools used to avoid foreclosure in many circumstances, homeowners who owe more they can get when they sell their home use short sales when they need to relocate for a job. Short sales have advantages for both the buyer and seller of a property, though the transaction differs from a traditional St Louis real estate sale.

The Short Sale Process for Sellers in St. Louis

A homeowner considering selling their St Louis home through short sale process needs to do some homework to prepare a packet to request permission for a short sale from all of the lienholders of the home. For a bank to approve a short sale, the seller must demonstrate the following:

The seller has some type of financial distress prohibiting the seller from fulfilling the terms of the mortgage agreement. Examples of circumstances for which a bank will approve a short sale include unemployment, divorce, significant disability, and relocation for employment.

The seller then needs to determine the current market value of their home based on the sales price of comparable homes that recently sold in their St Louis neighborhood. Additionally the seller needs to calculate the equity he or she has in the home and the cost the seller will incur at closing.

Once the seller had determined the equity, the closing costs, and the fair value of the home, the next step is to compare the value of the home, the equity and closing costs. If the fair market value is less than closing costs, then the lender is likely to approve a short sale.

Prior to listing the home, the seller must contact the lender to get approval to list the home from the lenders. Many people find it useful to start with the loss mitigation department to expedite the process.

The Short Sale Process for Buyers in St. Louis

Purchasing St Louis real estate and homes through a short sale often means buyers can get a home for a bit less than comparable homes in a particular neighborhood. Just as a seller has to do some preparation prior to listing a short sale, the buyer needs to do homework prior to making an offer on a property listed as a short sale.

The buyer of the property needs to have a letter for pre-approval from their lender since the seller’s bank will require a pre-approval. Some seller’s banks will also have to pre-approve a buyer according to their lending standards so it is important to have your financial information in order.
When making an offer on a home offered as a short sale, check similar properties in the area that have recently sold to avoid overbidding or making an offer so low the bank will not consider it.
Be prepared to wait. While banks have started to process short sales more quickly than a year ago, it can still take as long as three months before the seller’s lender accepts or rejects the offer.

Foreclosures in St. Louis

The main reason for a bank to foreclose on a property is because of the homeowner’s failure to make the mortgage payment.  Banks do not want to foreclose on a property as it burdens them with a non performing asset that generates no revenue, makes them responsible for the home’s taxes, and requires physical upkeep of the property.  Therefore, home buyers can find great deals with a St.  Louis foreclosure as banks are motivated to sell the home for less than market value get the property off their books.